FORMER East Hampshire MP Michael Mates, wrongly accused of breaking electoral law, has revealed he has accepted “substantial” damages from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The CPS and Hampshire Police have said sorry to Mr Mates, pictured above, and confirmed that he was not guilty of any offence during his attempt to become Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in 2012.

It was claimed that Mr Mates, recently turned 80, had broken rules by using a flat in St Cross, Winchester, as his address so that he could take part in the contest.

After a police investigation, the CPS said that it would not be in the public interest to launch a prosecution even though a conviction was “a realistic possibility.”

Now the CPS, following legal action from Mr Mates, has admitted it was wrong.

Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh has also apologised.

He said: “If the investigation has caused Mr Mates professional or personal embarrassment or other personal difficulties then this clearly was not the intention of the police and, for that, I apologise.”

Mr Mates said: “What has been a nightmare for my wife and myself for more than 18 months is now over. I have to be satisfied with their apology.

We are not at the end of the story,” he said, declining to say more.